City Councilman Speaks Out Against ‘Biased’ News Headlines
Councilman Tim Carsrud fired off at local media Tuesday night regarding a recent headline that triggered public outcry against the council, where council members were labeled “crooked politicians.”
The article in question was printed in the Gillette News Record March 12, regarding excess funding in the city’s EPA Equipment Reserve Fund, which would be transferred to fund reported renovations at the Waste Water Treatment Facility.
“I’m sure the article was factual,” Carsrud said, though he added that when he saw the headline of the article, “City finds extra cash in fund earmarked for EPA,” his blood started to boil.
Carsrud said that, to him, the headline spoke of incompetence in city staff and within the council itself.
In recent months, the city has announced certain expenditures of city funds, set aside to pay for certain projects such as the Waste Water Treatment Facility or the Energy Capital Sports Complex.
Public comments have sent mixed messages ranging from applause for city efforts to maintain and improve its level of service to the citizens of Gillette, to outcries alleging misconduct and reckless spending.
One such comment on the News Record’s article on Facebook spoke out against recent proposed waste water rate increases, advising the move as “politics from more crooked politicians.”
“We are not politicians,” Carsrud stated, going on to identify other members of the council as local business owners and educators.
Other comments allege that the city potentially loses money at times, and finds it later when it suits them.
Carsrud firmly said this is not the case.
“We know where every penny is, we know that it’s been accounted for,” he continued, adding that he was not happy that a single headline insinuated that the city was not capable of managing public funds.
Members of the council routinely read and review every article covering the City of Gillette. They also monitor public comments.
The negativity that is often triggered by any news of city spending isn’t confined to the eyes of the council and city staff, but it extends to their children, wives, and husbands, Carsrud said.
“It hurts and it’s painful to read it,” he stated.
Mayor Louise Carter-King added that, to her, it appears that news readers do not always read a story through its entirety, basing their conclusions on the city’s actions based on a headline alone.
Carsrud suggested that local media resist the urge to twist the wording of headlines in ways that inspire likes and shares on social media.
“I for one, am ready to see it cleaned up,” he concluded.